Research Excellence Framework

CEM is proud to be a part of Durham’s School of Education submission for the Research Excellence Framework 2014.

Examples of Current Research and Evaluation Projects



ICCAMS Maths is a KS3 evidence-based intervention which supports maths teachers to more effectively use formative assessment when teaching algebra and multiplicative structures. Previous ESRC-funded research showed that ICCAMS Maths helped raise attainment for Year 8 pupils in a small-scale intervention study. The ICCAMS2 project is a collaborative project between the University of Nottingham and Durham University and is being evaluated by the University of Manchester. Find out more at

Shared Maths:

This project aims to improve mathematics attainment in primary schools via cross-age peer tutoring which involves older pupils tutoring younger pupils in the classroom. Evidence shows that by working together using the Shared Maths process, children can understand maths more fully and remember what they have learned more easily. The project is evaluating the impact of Shared Maths when rolled out in four local authorities through a randomised controlled trial involved 82 schools. More information on the Shared Maths project can be found at:

Funder: Education Endowment Foundation
Start date: September 2011
End date: March 2015

Hallè SHINE on Manchester Evaluation:

The Hallè SHINE on Manchester intervention is an academic and cultural Saturday school programme targeting disadvantaged pupils in primary schools in the Manchester area and is funded by the EEF and SHINE Trust. Together with the School of Education at Durham University, the CRE team have been commissioned by the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) to evaluate the programme to find out how well it improves maths, literacy and attitudes to music for children invited to participate, using a clustered randomised controlled trial.

Funder: Education Endowment Foundation
Start date: December 2012
End date: March 2014
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SHINE in Secondaries:

This is an independent pilot evaluation of the impact of the SHINE Saturday School programme for underachieving Year 7 pupils which uses regression discontinuity design. The primary outcome is literacy, with secondary outcomes of mathematics and attitudes.

Funder: Education Endowment Foundation
Start date: August 2012
End date: August 2015
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Project Based Learning:

Project Based Learning (PBL) involve students taking a structured ‘project’ approach to learning, with a start and an end, and working in a co-operative and cross-curricular way. Although PBL approaches have been used in school teachings for many years, its success and impact on educational outcomes has not been evaluated in the context of the English education system. CEM, in collaboration with York Trials Unit, are conducting an independent evaluation of a PBL intervention. The first year includes a pilot study, where CEM will advise on the development of the intervention and in the second and third years, the impact of the intervention on attainment and engagement in school will be evaluated through a randomised controlled trial.

Funder: Education Endowment Foundation
Start date: January 2013
End date: December 2016

The Lions Project:

Lions is a nursery based in China, providing bespoke programmes for families which aim to enhance child development and life accomplishment. Specialist teams of Lions’ staff design, enable and administer learning to take place in the family home. Lions assess, monitor and report child development via an in-house system. CEM is evaluating this assessment.

Start date: September 2013
End date: August 2014

The Sutton Trust Programme Evaluation Framework:

The Sutton Trust develop and fund a wide range of programmes with the aim of increasing participation in higher education for young people from less advantaged backgrounds. CEM has been commissioned to develop and operate a Common Evaluation Framework, initially including five separate programmes and some additional initiatives within those programmes. The project involves evaluating outcomes through comparisons of longitudinal data (for example from the National Pupil Database and UCAS), repeated cohort surveys and qualitative observation and interviews.

Funder: The Sutton Trust
Start date: March 2014
End date: December 2014

Access Grammar:

This project seeks to look at ways access to grammar schools for highly able children from non-privileged backgrounds can be improved. The project will identify potential target cohorts in the study areas for a range of outreach interventions and will look to evaluate these activities. For this project, the CEM Research and Evaluation team are working in collaboration with the Sutton Trust, Grammar School Heads Association, King Edwards Foundation and the Department for Education.

Start date: January 2014
End date: January 2017

Exploring the Experiences of Families Living in Fuel Poverty and its Impact on Children’s Educational Outcomes:

This research will conduct a pilot study to gain a richer understanding of the impact that fuel poverty has on childhood education. The pilot study will recruit primary schools in North East England who have conducted ‘Performance Indicators in Primary Schools (PIPS) Baseline’ assessments. Within these schools the study will engage parents with children aged 5-7 to complete questionnaires (available on paper and online) to assess household fuel affordability and provide data that will link households to their child’s PIPS Baseline results. Interviews will also be conducted with parents - identified from questionnaires to fit the fuel poverty risk criteria - to establish how they support their child’s home learning in such environments. This is a collaborative research project including researchers from Durham University’s CEM, the Department of Anthropology and national charity NEA.

Funder: Chesshire Lehmann Fund
Start date: August 2014
End date: March 2015

Academic Articles and Reports

CEM has produced hundreds of research papers and publications, which go back as far as 1981. Many of these resources are accessible via our publications area, where they can be either downloaded or ordered.

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